Help me find the most interesting and cool/unique ways to tote my stuff
June 15, 2021 3:58 AM   Subscribe

What’s the coolest luggage or every day carry you have found (or any other bag or storage or organization for that matter.)?

A twist on my prior question - what’s the coolest, most innovative luggage or every day carry you have found? Open to duffels too. Or other ways to organize and haul and use my stuff. For instance I have a camera strap that works with one of my bags. About to do a lot of traveling and really wanting to find some dope luggage/bags/travel accessories.

I would also be interested to know how you put your gear to the best use, I.e. I use a carabiner to loop my smaller bag onto my bigger bag. What can I do with all the paracord on some backpacks/bags/luggage?
posted by jitterbug perfume to Shopping (12 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I've found that a killer feature for me in a purse or backpack is a well-placed key clip/tether, like what's shown in the third and fourth photos here. I keep my house keys and bike key on separate keychains, and being able to clip them both to a tether I can easily grab and pull out (no matter how over-stuffed my bag is) makes life so much easier. I imagine this is the type of thing a reasonably crafty person could sew into a bag they already own, though there are also gadgets like this that can serve the same purpose (though IMO a sewn-in cloth or leather tether works best).
posted by neushoorn at 4:28 AM on June 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

posted by runincircles at 4:28 AM on June 15, 2021 [10 favorites]

A vintage duffel from Sea Bags, made from recycled sails. Pricey but very durable; has interior pockets. The material is stiff enough to not be annoyingly floppy.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:39 AM on June 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

So I found my chicken purse at a yard sale and she gets compliments everywhere she goes. Also she is a rubber chicken which makes her the obvious bag of choice in rainy weather.

Honorable mention goes to old lunch boxes! They are super sturdy and often have a matching thermos for your beverage or soup if you like to travel with sustenance.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 6:23 AM on June 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

I'm a huge fan of the Tom Bihn line of bags, and my go-to bag is their Synik 30. I'm a dedicated "bag-in-a-bag" packer, and the pocket arrangement on the Synik is perfect for me....everything has a place to be, the main pocket is large enough to pack for short trips, or just to hold a few things for around town. I also use a variety of the Bihn smaller pouches and such to arrange things internally (their Snake Charmer holds all my tech charging/cable needs in the bottom of the Synik, and a Side Effect lives in the main pocket when I travel to use as an "around town" bag).

I find their stuff to be delightful, but some prefer just huge open bags without lots of sub-organization. If that's you, these will probably not work for you.
posted by griffey at 6:26 AM on June 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

In terms of organization, are you familiar with packing cubes? That's the most obvious. Spending $30 on packing cubes (or just using 2-gallon freezer bags - seriously, I did this for years) is preferable to spending an extra $100 on a fancier bag.

I've also found it helpful to include an empty bag in your suitcase in the event your luggage goes a little over weight limit. Most of the time, I just use a small gym bag, but we had our ass saved once on a transatlantic flight because my wife bought a reusable grocery bag. Her suitcase weighed in at 52 pounds with a 50 pound limit, so we stuff a pair of shoes and some t-shirts into the grocery bag and I carried it as my personal item. The $5 bag saved us $50 or more on baggage fees.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:27 AM on June 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

I like to carry along this lightweight fold-up duffel for carrying extra things. I got packing cubes at Daiso, the Japanese dollar store. I'm interested in this toiletry bag with tons of pockets, though I haven't gotten it yet.
posted by pinochiette at 8:28 AM on June 15, 2021

Strong recommendation for purse organizer inserts everywhere, including carry-on or gear bags, in a desk drawer, as a toiletry bag, or on a counter. Now I don't have to compromise on a bag I really like except for a lack of internal pockets.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:42 AM on June 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Roll your clothes so they take up less space. Pack fewer things. Everything you need should fit in one bag. Two if you BYO food.
posted by aniola at 8:58 AM on June 15, 2021

I use this OneTigris cell phone case, which has a ring at the top, so I attach it to a purse or backpack with a carabiner. I swapped the velcro patch on the front with something else, to make it look a bit less "military". I like it because it closes with a really strong velcro closure, so it is pretty hard for anyone to try to open without me knowing.
posted by gudrun at 10:37 AM on June 15, 2021

"Everything you need should fit in one bag"

For a long time I really hated this advice, for various reasons. I wear a lot of clothes (undershirt every day in addition to my regular shirt, plus sometimes a long sleeve shirt over that; separate pajamas, gym clothes, etc.), and I'm OCD about washing them, so I only wear them once, meaning a new shirt, pants, and underwear every single day of my trip. But then when I actually bought some packing cubes (and stopped using freezer bags, as I mentioned above), I tested to see what my actual capacity would be, and it surprised me. I can fit eight t-shirts, six pairs of pants, 7 undershirts, 6 pairs each of boxers and socks, and a set of gym clothes in a single carry-on bag, not using the external pockets. I'm a pretty big dude, too - most of that stuff is XL or bigger. So that's a weeklong trip, and quite honestly, if you're traveling for more than a week, you should probably plan to do laundry anyway. Single bag travel is absolutely possible even for people who aren't minimalists.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:59 AM on June 15, 2021

I remembered something else I can't live without: a dedicated cable organizer. I have this one from a company called Abbey (which I think might be Dutch), but there are many similar options out there. I used to keep cables in whatever old toiletries bag or random pouch I had, but an organizer with built-in straps and pockets is much nicer, especially if you're dealing with many different types of cables. And because the one I have is like a folio style, so flat and relatively slim, I find it works well in a backpack.
posted by neushoorn at 11:44 PM on June 15, 2021

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